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The Texas Public Policy Foundation has released, "Keys to an Effective Drug Policy." The highlights of the release are below: Drug Courts. Drug courts are a proven alternative to incarceration for low level drug offenders. Drug courts offer intensive judicial oversight of offenders combined with mandatory drug testing and escalating sanctions for failure to comply. The average recidivism rate for those who complete drug court is between 4% and 29%, in contrast to 48% for those who do not participate in a drug court program. Oregon currently has 51 drug courts. Hawaii HOPE Court. In Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Drug (HOPE) Court, offenders are ordered to treatment and must call in a number every morning to see if they have to report to the court to take a drug test. If they fail, they are jailed for several days and can ultimately be imprisoned for multiple failures. This court has proven in a randomized controlled trial to reduce positive drug screens by 91 percent and cut both revocations and new arrests by two-thirds. Oregon does not have a court similar to the HOPE court. Mandatory Probation, Treatment and Work Requirements for First-Time Drug Offenders.   This policy should apply only to individuals caught with small quantities of drugs that are for personal use. By redirecting these first-time offenders from prison, states can save millions in incarceration costs. Treatment Works.  In Arizona which also implemented a policy of treatment instead of incarceration for drug possession offenders more than a decade ago, a study by the Arizona Supreme Court found that 77 percent of drug offenders got clean as a result of the treatment.[1] The national Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Survey of 10,000 participants found that residential treatment resulted in a 50 percent reduction in drug use and 61 percent reduction in crime while outpatient treatment resulted in a 50 percent reduction in drug use and 37 percent reduction in crime.[2] Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), stated, “Research findings show unequivocally that drug treatment works and that this is true even for individuals who enter treatment under legal mandate.”[3] Every Relapse Should Not Lead to a Revocation. Studies show drug addicts typically relapse several times before becoming drug-free. So long as they are not dealing drugs, a more sensible approach than revocation to prison is the use of graduated sanctions such as increased treatment and reporting.   If necessary, the offender can be ordered to spend several nights in the county jail. [1] See V. Dion Haynes, “Study Backs Treatment, Not Prison, For Addicts—Drug Habits Broken, Money Saved Through Arizona Law,” ?date=19990421&slug=2956358. [2] See Oregon Research Brief on Addiction Treatment Effectiveness, [3] SeeAnExamination of Drug Treatment Programs Needed to Ensure Successful Re-entry - Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives,


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